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Charles Hill Education. (2011) Charles Hill ('Trial of a Thousand Years World Order and Islamism.') New.

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Iraq 6, Us 6, U.n. 5, Washington 5, Iran 4, Bush 4, Huntington 4, Afghanistan 4, United 3, United Nations 3, America 3, Islam 3, China 3, Saigon 3, George W. Bush 2, United States 2, Lebanon 2, Ignatius 2, Egypt 2, U.s. 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Charles Hill  Education.  (2011) Charles Hill ('Trial  
   of a Thousand Years World Order and Islamism.') New.  

    July 9, 2011
    10:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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however it came to be bygones and/or nothing more than a cause of accidents and will it ever label, creation, care, even environmentalism, secular green, a planetary survivalist, this world of ours needs someone to show us how to love it better. as he was in life, he is waiting out their even now at that razor thin line between president to my future, man-to-man and myth, the real and he imagined, ready to lead the way. ..
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he identified several areas in which s3 he identified several areas in which she claims islamists are at odds with the rest of the world and putting their beliefs and the role of state all and the world of women. he discusses his analyses with david ignatius, foreign affairs columnist for "the washington post." >> host: i'm david ignatius, columnist for "the washington post" and author of a new novel, love money. i'm here to interview charles hill, who is the author and nonfiction book called "trial of a thousand years world order and islamism." very interesting book, and we are going to try to draw on some of the themes. let me begin, charles, asking you -- this is an unusual sort
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of book. it's more like an old-fashioned essay that some of the monographs see coming out of the academy, and perhaps you can just say the to state simply what we see as the subject of the book, what is the issue that you are seeking? >> guest: the subject is in the title and that is world order and in some sense that has put the legs on the mind of leading statesmen i believe, and also within that world order, the international state system going back 350 or so years and evolves to order itself internationally, and what we see here and what i am addressing is kim is from work islamism come as the word that we have come to
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employ to see the international world order, the international state system. after world war i as a whole middle east region was pulled into that system but the state's in the region and the regime that governed them didn't do very well and so the region as a whole has always been in this modern era and a kind of adversarial uneasy problematic relationship to the larger world, which is the state, united nations, the usual treaty systems there's always been that kind of attention. so to examine that to see with the origins might be and what prospect might be. >> host: to hold the prospective readers of this book perhaps you could summarize the
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distinction that you draw between modern states, the post states 1648 and the long religious war which you say the state's focus on prospect of the purpose of the state was issues the process, not issues of substance, meaning if not issues of religion. perhaps you could draw that out a little bit and tell us why those modern states as we call them, why they have had trouble in this part of the world where islamism is? >> guest: before the modern age, that is before the barely 17th century beckon to the antiquity there were lots of different concepts of world order and of the world order in the south asian area and world
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order even in south america people of thinking of themselves as being the center of any universe and deducting the things. that's changed in the early modern period 15, 16, 17 centuries when there was what i would call the reconnaissance of the world when people coming out of europe primarily began to realize there was a global out there and there were many different people in different societies, religions, and it was going to be a very difficult thing to figure out how to deal with them. the catalyst was off 30 year war to 48 which was a religious war and the religions are substantive. one religions as i have the answer, the other says no you don't, i do, and a clash coming
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and coming out of that war in the treaty of 1648, you get the beginning of what is now still the modern contemporary international state system, and the elements of that are pretty simple. the state is the fundamental building block of it, but as you say, it began to decide it has to be procedural, in other words of the substantive approach to world order coming out of antiquity could not accept another substance. we are in an adversarial position. so the only way to deal with this multiplicity population all around the world was to say just follow these three or four procedural guidelines and you can do whatever you want to do
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inside your own state, and as part of that, the state itself became a union of international diplomacy and international affairs replacing the entire. in tires before this time, there was a wrong world order and they were very substantive. they usually were in some conceptual contact but the modern system said that's not going to work. we are going to fit religion diplomatically, not that you can't have your religion, but don't bring your religion to the bargaining table for the negotiating table. so we began to get this system into which the entire they began to fade away either wished to get into life in the case of the ottoman empire very aggressively wanted to stay out of jazz in the case of the chinese empire, and in some sense forced the
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modern history 200, 300 years as the struggle of whether the international state system can through its procedures proceed against one challenge after another and that challenge today is coming out of islam, and primarily what we are calling islamism. >> host: to what extent is your argument similar in terms of the basis the and the argument samuel huntington made when he talked about islamic utilization and it's still use, its trajectory being fundamentally in collision with the west on all sorts of levels. and i find myself sometimes reading your book thinking it was just the same basic confrontation. so tell us in what ways is your
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argument like huntington and in what ways is it to reverse? >> guest: it's a little bit like it but it's quite a different. the huntington arguments, the clash of civilization when they are looked out at that and awfully brought that up with him directly, it really is not a book about price of civilization. it's kind of a disguise and islam because when you look what huntington is talking about, there isn't any clash between the latin american civilization. this isn't there. but we begin to draw the line of the confrontation they are all in the coming to an approach coming out of islam. islam has bloody borders. so, in so islam has bloody borders. so, in some sense this takes on from that point but freely are we talking about here, and what
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i'm trying to get out of the book is of islam or ignatius, that version of islam remains with a mentality that is a civilization of mentality -- >> they are substantive in their own view because of the sharia law and how they see the cosmos and the international system okay but don't bring it into our diplomacy even though we have to because -- was to let me ask you a few questions to poke at the edge of that thesis, and start by asking out efforts and modernize states and political cultures in the arab world that we associate with as other arab renaissance or the baathist
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party. the baathist party specifically wanted to create modern state institutions that were not dependent on islam, the riposte ottoman. there were not little slices of the caliphate but for parts of an arab nation as was mentioned but very specifically have room for christians, muslims, jews if they would remain, and the appeal was for the secular states it was argued the modern states. >> is that an effort that you would endorse and principal? putting aside the barbaric uses to which the baathist ideology was put by people like saddam hussein was that idea of creating modern?
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>> guest: it was contacted in some sense but it was not in practice. it was the taking of the larger idea of national some and whereas in the modern state system there is nationalism within a state in a state's culture and its own view of its place in the world. what happened in the middle east is the nationalism became pan nationalism and it was another way within the region that the idea of the states became undermined so when you would say 30 or 40 years ago talked to someone from damascus and what mengin the nation of syria they would say you can't see that, there's only one nation and that is the arab nation. >> is the iraqi party calling itself the syrian division of the arab baathist party as the
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boundaries were momentary inventions. >> i asked about iraq because in the book i found more enthusiasm for george w. bush's call to arms in 2003 in the march invasion of iraq than one usually has now, even among people who were supportive of the war who were members of the bush administration. it's typical in my experience of a columnist to find people looking backwards scratching their heads and saying you know, glad it turned out better than people here but we have to be honest given what we now know there were not weapons of mass destruction and that didn't make a lot of sense. there's a more enthusiastic account just to read one of passage talking about the moment of argumentation in the united
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nations there has never been a clearer case of an outlaw state using its privileges of statehood to advance the interest in a way that the fight and endangered the international system. so let me just ask as you look back is there a little bit of doubt as to whether this was the right course to have taken? >> guest: no. i have no doubt that it was the right forced to take. it was not conducted well, and we ran into the enormous trouble in the state's that really sink president bush's approach, but the decision to do it was absolutely necessary. i was at the united nations in the early 90's, i was a u.n. official, and i can tell you that saddam's iraq was the only topic of conversation. he was stretching the united patients crazy from every
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direction. but he was just part of the larger dysfunctional situation across the region which there were states, but the regime in the state's was either military dictatorships or monarchies were they were under false pretenses in the parliamentary like system and so governance was really, really bad and in the face of saddam's iraq and also the case in other places in the states in the middle east and they really were both using their state privileges and immunities as part of the international system. they were inside it nominally. and they were working against it when it served our interest and said, was doing that all the time, so this all began with his
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takeover of kuwait. the takeover certainly signaled lawlessness which was familiar to the president of his own country. iraq was a country governed by torture, by physical intimidation and i really not making a break for saddam hussein but to go a little further, you mentioned the mistakes that followed the invasion of iraq, and as i look back, one of the most overwhelming was the sort of naive enthusiasm about a democracy and about knocking out all of the pillars of the iraqi state that had been building since 1920. that steve had been, you could argue, kidnapped by the baathist party, but it did have its own character.
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the universities of iraq were among the best in the arab world. the quality of engineering, of intellectual work. famous leedy iraqi is more known as the germans of the arab world because they had this rigorous approach. iraq was a country relatively speaking where the women had a substantial right, and what i saw, and i covered the war on the ground in washington in 2003, 2004, a 2005, i saw the taking out of the whole system, taking down the army, an institution in which iraqi had some pride independence of the views, taking down all of the institutions which in the end meant every institution of consequence in the country, and what the iraqi is were left with is nothing but the primitive association of tried and plan and that is what iraq ended up with, and that is in a weird way
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our invasion of iraq ended up pushing it back into the pre-modern roots in the form of politics who are continuing. we are nowhere near out of the words in my judgment in 2003. i'm curious how you would react to that and in the intellectual arguments in your book but not in an emotional way. >> welcome the review described it i think is the way that many in washington did assess iraq because you have described -- felt that when saddam hussein was overthrown that to the engineers would come forward and that there would be the pillars of institutions that would be relieved of terror and fear and that it would be an easy thing to do to see iraq come into its own once saddam hussein was gone.
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that didn't happen, and it wasn't because of the council or paul jury brummer. the iraq that was saddam hussein's party rule over it, the covers underneath in the tribal and religion and i think particularly the sunni she had defied, which we didn't see at all. we didn't have any character of the how poisonous that was between the two sides of islam. first they were completely beyond what we expected and out of our control, and particularly even though we are making some progress from 2003, 2,004, in 2006 with the rolling out of the shia mosques, that kicked off the sunni shia battle that we had but no way if any control over it. >> certainly the people who might have kept iraq on this
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path of steady modernization of accelerated the process, felt frightened when we abolished the army effectively, called everybody in the baathist party to the account people there was no place for them in this new iraq, do you think that was a mistake >> guest: as i see it in this book is to see it as an entirety, this region across a sweep of history, and that is what 9/11 really brought to the floor and president bush and his administration brought that out quite clearly also why don't think the press really followed it, didn't elaborate or question its position, but it was that
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looking back, going back to the end of world war i, looking back to the collapse of the ottoman empire and the collapse of the caliphate in 1924 we really can see that the region had become increasingly dysfunctional and poisonous. terrorism was on the rise. we didn't understand terrorism in 1980i was in the state department we didn't know what we were doing their until the mid-1990s we began to understand some of the forces behind it. wind 9/11 came, president bush and his national security strategy of 2000 to put that forward. our policy across the administration, democratic and republican throughout the decade we would withdraw our own national interest and seek stability and perjury for to the extent we possibly could, and what we've been decided from
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washington was it had to work. we sought stability and reform and we got neither. so that's when president bush put forward what became the agenda that the only way to get good government that is stable, sustainable and lasting in this region or anywhere around the world is through a government that is responsive to its people. and that means that is really not democracy itself but a kind of democratization. something that the u.n. after the fall of the soviet union began to actually write in to the u.n. security council resolution hadn't been there before, that no word democracy in the u.n. charter but starting in the early 1990's the u.n. began to see that democracy was a procedural step, a very important intellectual point
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because democracy was not in the u.n. charter. this was in the mind of the international servants, it was substantive. but in the 1990's, they're came an international understanding that it was procedural, that is going back if you don't have that kind of a free public or democratization, and you're not going to have transparency, you're not going to have this government. it's all going to go downhill from there. so that is what president bush was talking about when he offered the transformation of the greater middle east. so when we look around us today in 2011, what we see is a phenomenon called their of spring, which is the movement across the arab world stretching into iran, movement for
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self-determination and movement that seems to dispose democracy. the consequence of that movement has been the departure of the president and mubarak in egypt, people who were lost while supported the united states were seen by their people and people were right for autocratic leaders, so the question i would ask you looking back ten years was whether the bush administration having decided on the need for this freedom agenda should have moved more quickly and decisively to push the mubarak's out and whether that is so the freedom agenda should have stretched more broadly. >> i certainly should have, and i think that was the idea of president bush's approach behind the next security strategy of 2002, and certainly what is a
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remarkable speech that is the second inaugural of george w. bush, which is that is all of 2005 that is almost an emancipation proclamation for the world. it calls for an end to tierney in our generation. it is an amazing speech. but the troubles in iraq were so great at that time that it was -- you of course were called boesh by the italians of that. should that have been accompanied by a very aggressive effort to push mubarak out in the declaration of freedom to the world as we said we are going to start with the biggest arab country and the historic center of the arab world, egypt. would you have liked to have seen that? >> guest: i think that should have been done but not as step one. step one was to deal with the dictators and to try to get them out of their region of power and
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to see the most -- >> host: de kolevar de dictator? >> guest: if he were a dictator he would still be in power. >> surely because of that even monarchs are overthrown as we have seen in history. let me take a revolution that you spend some time discussing. you focused on the year 1979, a year when there were many traumatic changes in this part of the world, and in particular with the iranian revolution which brought a new system khomeini had been putting together in this time ruled by the clerics, and described that as a kind of watershed moment and year. maybe you can talk about the consequences of the iranian
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revolution. i would be particularly interested whether you see it as a moment like the french revolution and the european system. >> guest: the irony in a revolution clearly was called the last great revolution, and i think it's certainly in terms of consequences for the intellectual power behind it is in the category of the great modern revolution, but it is going in the wrong direction. strangely not fully understood although you refer to it and understand it is that is ayatollah khomeini's reworking before he took power of the political theory of the world that is in his dialogue of the jobs when he was in exile working through a political theory which transformed, intellectually transformed the
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idea behind islamism, and it is a kind of quiet idea of waiting for the return you turn into something that is going to be used and they are going to be and who the positions of political power. that's where we get the of theocracy that we have called iran, and the enormous influence, the impact was that this was something that even the category of islamism, if it is a radical side that we are talking about here not itself with the radical, that was the takeover of a state that was in the international state system and that had a huge impact intellectually in terms of all kinds of people but the region and also when that happened, the irony in the end of the islamic republic of iran was to be able -- they wanted originally to be
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able to bridge the sunni initiative by the that had a reach across all the regions and the was the discovery of the iranian nuclear program is really what lies behind the ear of spring that we were seeing as a kind of loose coalition of arab states coming together to see that iran was the real problem they were facing. >> host: they saw kuran as the problem. what became increasingly apparent in the recent years was some irony in tears those emulating them and shia were pretty popular figures among the ordinary. to ask you a question you are contrasting the activism of
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ayatollah khomeini in the revolution with the normal shia you describe him as being a steady rebuke to the establishment at one point, but surely the rise of lebanon, the rise of the lebanese shia that predated hezbollah and the irony in influence, the rise of sheik mohammed, who led a strong movement that had their roots among shia across the arab world would argue a little against that. there is a lot of dynamism not necessarily i iranian but
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looking as we tended to do how would you react to that? >> guest: i think that is correct in terms of the shia rye is. certainly they downgraded the downtrodden dismiss within of the muslim world for generations going back centuries and centuries come and that rye is was sensible early on time and even before the iranian revolution. but what has happened was the parallel with the nationalists it goes on. >> host: these movements that should be one of three for more progress get taken over by radicals in the case of the shia
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rise by a revolutionary iran that is the revolutionary in the sense of against international order so that by taking over we get the iranian republic of today which has set itself against the international status in order. do you think that a post revolutionary iran it's hard to define exactly what that would look like, can be drawn into a stable international architecture? and my framing point for that would be the congress of vienna in 1850 and the way that post revolutionary france and the other rising powers were brought into a structure alongside the power. do you think something like that could happen with iran in the middle east or is that impossible? >> guest: i think it certainly could happen.
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the green revolution of 2009 was an early indicator of that. that is what i was referring to in the book when i say look across the border the ai iranian shia i can see another kind of policy that is thoroughly shia, but it is one in which the clerics are not in the primer minister's position and they can contrast that with of the obsession they are feeling and say why can't we be more like iraq today, but that's really president obama pointed to that as the 2,009 to iran as the fighting point of the spring and that's wrong. the steady point was to see the revolution in lebanon in 2005 and that puts us back to most of our intelligence the don't want to go as well as saddam hussein that kicked this off in some
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sense. the bush second inaugural address and president bush did not go forward with its. it was nonetheless there. the issue back then was the question of the uprising and for generations had been due the air and people want to be free and the answer that we got again and again is no, they don't. we have islam, we don't need that, but the arab spurring this year the answer is yes, they do. >> host: they didn't spend much time in the arab world. let me ask about one of the really provocative passes of your book. you take on the correctness if he will one of the ideas people
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have long is when they will say as often is said by general petraeus among others there's no military solutions to the conflicts we are fighting today as a in iraq and afghanistan, but in the end of the revolution of this will be a political matter and you say that's wrong. the first order of business and winning a war mecca's to kill the enemy fighters. a very forthright statement but one that does go against the grain, and i would ask you to forget afghanistan today and assess whether you think that approach of the enemy fighters is going to lead to something that can be called a military solution. >> guest: yes i do but i'm not saying the military solution is the only sort of resolution that matters. there has to be that a military
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solution. there has to be the position of the mind in the enemy you're going to get killed if you go up against the americans. there was something of this in iraq in the awakening to the rest of the country the idea this is a tribal battle but they turn out to be. i think it is now being impress upon the various elements of the taliban and others. but of course in the conflict of building, helping, developing projects going on designed to do one big strategic thing wherever you look in the middle east and that is to shore up the strength and responsiveness of the state's wherever we look whether
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it's iraq or afghanistan to prevent pakistan from continuing to fail, the idea of the two-stage solution for israel and palestine or all within the concept of the system and if we don't have strong response things are going in the wrong direction. >> host: what i see on the ground and a travel to afghanistan is to be honest with all the power of the u.s. military you have an incredibly confident will lead military. in the and that's not enough to substitute for the government's of the afghan states and institutions provide and and pushing we just never quite get
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there. it's hard to find anybody -- >> guest: that's true, too. this brings us back to something like democratization and the culture in their view is going to be something where the people will have a way if you change those that are going to run their government. this is something you can't avoid. when the figures for you don't put other dictators in you can put into place the basic institutions and procedures. >> host: he turned back from these issues in the news of the intellectual argument that the core of your book which is a very challenging one, and you are taking on the basic question
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- falling as a journalist now for 30 years which is can islamic countries and people adapt to and accommodate the modern world the way the modern world works? and you cite and author, an iraqi who is a commonly good writer and thinker about these issues, and what you say is a sort of sharp choice he poses in the and and basically if you understand his answer and i think yours is known of in its current form the way that you characterized this way so he says there are only two possible outcomes to read either shrink islam or relegate to the private sphere of making it like the long established religion of the modern era create an alternative
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modernity. that's a lot of complicated ideas there but maybe you can unpack that for us. >> guest: this book and several others i mentioned here but this is perhaps a think the most comprehensive is an intellectual on the muslim world taking on very seriously and a great deal of respect because they are turning away. they are not giving us any kind of easy answers or putting any veil over things, and it does come down to the way i see it is very hard to see the two muslims being able to do this, but there are some ideas here that are coming to the floor, and i treat these as well in the last part that shows some indication that there is within islam even
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traditional islam plenty of places to go and the theology of it where if you want to do that you can find when you want to do in terms of moving forward on the more procedural modern ways can be done. >> host: and it does shrink the role and the claim of islam over the state's. >> guest: the one thing i think is the key to this and a couple of others go at this, too, is where they say that islam is not designed to be imposed by the regime that is running a state, therefore there's something anomalous even political about the idea that the government in tirana is telling the entire iranian population how to be muslim. there is something wrong with
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that. and going in that direction you begin to get the idea that you can be truly muslim islamic, but you don't have to be in with the regime is telling you to do in terms of what these reminders are in terms of what you can wear and so on. >> host: final question. in your book at various points, there is a fema i would identify loosely as the decline. you cited the works of austal spencer, the decline of the west, you cite a given and the fall of the roman empire. you quote at the very beginning of the statement by henry kissinger about america's capacity to survive and prevail in this world and so i want to send it to you straight up
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somebody that is obviously very thoughtful and has done a lot of reading and thinking. do you think that america's decline in this world that you have described is likely and not what i'm asking the inevitable but given what you see today realistically would you say that we are on the downward slope? >> guest: definitely not. i think we have to recognize that there is a very strong strain of anticivilization, antiinternational border that goes back to the early modern age of the era and who says flat out there is no legitimate government anywhere except the revolution in an entirely new order, and i think that is inside like a virus emerging
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inside the present civilization we need to recognize, but recognizing we can overcome it and reducing without consciously thinking so again and again we see something that looks like the decline against one after another and somehow we always emerge and we emerge stronger because we are more flexible. we have more freedom, we have more ability to react and adjust, and i think what we are looking at here in the united states is a country of culture that is unique and exceptional because it's the first of the society and its free and people raise hell about it so we are on an upward spring, not downward. >> host: with a that
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affirmation of the american idea, i want to thank you very much. i've had the pleasure as a journalist of covering you, watching you as you have done many jobs over several decades. the name of the book is "trial of a thousand years." it is a deeply observed and carefully written account in a very thought-provoking. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you. very challenging. >> that was "after words," booktv's signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" there's a free weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 p.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to booktv.org and click on the "after words" and book tv
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series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. this is book tv on c-span2, and we are at the university of chicago, and we are joined by professor marc philip bradley, whose most recent book is "ravee at monrad war." professor bradley, what are you looking at in this book? >> guest >> the book was to think about the war from a vietnamese perspective, and to think about it in a kind of long historical weight. so americans, the vietnam war they used to call with the american war so we talk late 1950 to 1975 but for most vietnamese, the war began the latest in 1946, and of many would argue that the beginning of this century has the french came to take control of the vietnam. so the book orchis to think of as early decca's the 1890's in the coming of the french rule and to talk about
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anticolonialism, the french war, the american war, and for the memory in vietnam since the war was over. >> host: had the vietnamese perspective been lost throughout time? >> guest: if not in vietnam. [laughter] but other places in the world, and the american war in vietnam is the most topic in the modern american history. there are thousands of books and articles, and that is anything about film and television programs and radio and all that sort of thing, so it is the kind of topic where americans can barely turnaround without hearing something about the war but that literature is largely about the nature of the american involvement and the experience of the soldiers who were there with very little attention. in fact come to the kind of realities of the vietnamese with your it is the high policy or people who were experiencing the war aftermath their doorstep.
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sukarno. surprisingly even after 30 years, the attention of the vietnamese themselves is relatively close. >> host: what surprised you? >> guest: well, i think for me as a historian it was the most recent material most surprising to me and the way that the war has been front and center in vietnam since 1975 as the vietnamese moved from high socialism to a kind of form of malta capitalism albeit one by the communist party, not unlike something going on in china for people who have a sense about that. but the word keeps coming back and it keeps coming back in two major ways in the vietnamese society right now. one among intellectuals who use vote war as a way of critiquing the party. the war was a good thing the the way that the party ran the war wasn't necessarily a good thing and that was in the kind of propaganda that would have gone
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on during the war macbook the series of films and novels that cannot in vietnam in the 1990's, again, saying that in the way the promises of the war were both independent and socialism and that the socialist promise had gone unfulfilled. but more recently, it is the explosion of religion in vietnam. during the war itself at least in northern vietnam, the state downplayed religion and discourage people from their religious practices. today, religion is all over the place and to give you a little of a sense of this i went to vietnam in 1989. that is the first time they could get in after the war was done and it's right in the center of hanly, a beautiful cathedral and i went to mass one morning. i'm not catholic but i was curious who goes and no one went, older women, maybe if you older men come a very sparse. i was in hanoi in march.
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there are ten masses every saturday. i was at one of them. you can barely get in the door and that's capitalism and it's only 10% of the vietnamese. most are buddhist. there's just a proliferation of buddhists and structures and pilgrimage sites and then a family lineage and worshiping family lineage was always an important part of the tradition. this has gone back as well and the war because the family altars. if you lived in the south after the war and had a relative who fought in maybe even north vietnam, you couldn't honor the relatives who fought from the south. the south was defeated so you had to pretend that child hadn't been there. in the last ten years people have felt comfortable again about displaying photographs of
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sons who were lost on the losing side. one can remember them. so it's really profound there's been a huge transformation from people but working very complicated politics in an earlier period. >> in the south is there still a lot of former south vietnamese soldiers living in the country? had the been so-called rehabilitated and allowed full access in vietnam? >> well, that's a really complicated question. a lot of high-ranking soldiers and government officials left vietnam after 1975. some as the world was coming to an end but between many to the united states but others to japan, canada there's a diaspora of the south vietnamese and officials living with their
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families other places but not everybody could leave in particular people who were more ordinary soldiers and when the war was first over there were these education's the state's organized that were not fund. the conditions were very difficult. the idea of that somehow you could send people to the camp and they would come back to be leaders. that continued to be the case with the conditions in the length of time that people were kept was really terrific in many cases and there were long closed and people began to fall back in society, and the economic reforms have changed the playing field in many ways because for the economy to work, people need money, and the largest source of investment in vietnam beyond the states is the overseas vietnamese committee. billions and billions of dollars being sent back into vietnam, and so those families now have
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the stature within the economy that they wouldn't have had in an earlier period of time. if they want to be -- if they want their kids to go to college, if they want to be involved in politics, they tend to be closed. that history of people's involvement does mark people in that kind of way. but the economy in the sense of level the playing field for people in a way that again to or 15 years ago -- >> how would you describe the current relationship with the u.s. and i want to preface that by saying i remember visiting just a couple of years ago in saigon, the american war of the gration museum and watching the propaganda films the were being played up the tunnels prior year to be able to go out and tour those. >> one is interesting. when i was again, i was meeting
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with a friend of mine, now president of the university of ho chi minh city and the city council, and he was telling me that the city had decided that museum no longer served a useful purpose i think was the way that he put it, that it isn't -- it was partly not effective for the tourists come he said. if you can get a sense of why that might be so but also important it was a detective for the schoolchildren which was the audience for which it and the presidential palace preserved today and yet he said we don't know what ought to replace it. we don't exactly know right now what sort of stories we think might be most effective to tell about the war but something about the relationship back to america because again if you're in the museum, it's very unsettling what you see, agent orange and various massacres,
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you don't see much contextualized around it but you see what would be the most horrific incidence of the violence there. but even the american relationship is relatively good it seems to me to read you know, where the vietnamese desperately is discussions of human rights. the americans unavailing as hillary clinton would say reminded the vietnamese about our commitment to human rights and question their commitment yet the prime minister not unexpectedly got there very quickly about that sort of thing. largely concerned about, ironically, religion, and given the fact that religion in certain ways in vietnam there's something of a mismatch of the concerns particularly tend to be about the promise of evangelical groups in the vietnam. these are the areas the mountain people go during the war and closely with the cia in an area the regime still the lead may not be fully loyal, and those are still there. the sort of -- most concerned
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about china and there's always been those concerns about china, and that relationship has been ed and flow after the world was stunned that invaded in 1979 this was over the vietnamese invasion of cambodia, and that relationship began stronger than it was, but i think the united states for them becomes partially around economic matters, but it's also some sort of check on the potential chinese interests in power not just vietnam but southeast asia more generally. >> what is the ho chi minh status in vietnam? >> huji minn remains revered, and it's interesting that that is so. with other people's feelings are about the regime as people have become more critical about the past, but some look over that and some and part of it because people employ ho chi minh in his
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memory in making a whole variety of claims so there were all these celebrities is about ten years ago country discontent about with the policies going on. a framed their demands and claims in ho chi minh's name. there are shrines in the areas again people use as ways not just of generating him but their own sensibility about what he represented. so she has become disconnected it seems to me in some ways in an elaborate state apparatus. one of the first places you visit is the mausoleum that was created after he died. he was and bombed and you can take a look at them. it turned out however there was a willing to estimate when he died he quite specifically said he wanted to be cremated and wanted his ashes distributed to the regions of the vietnam. he did not want this elaborate
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-- but at that point that is what the state felt was needed and what they thought made it the regime. that was 1989 when the rule cannot but from that period on i think there was a sort of disconnection for people between the bigger government said it was all about, but it's remarkable that no one goes after him. there hasn't been a term. he always represents the good somehow in his long history of the 20th century and who knows, that, too may shift overtime but certainly not now. the other thing to be said is that no one in a saigon calls ho chi minh city ho chi minh city. everybody calls it saigon, so that effort to sort of real name and use his memory has never stopped. >> what's the photograph on the front of your book vietnam war? >> guest: the photograph is
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one of many american bombings and what were known as free fighters owns in the central part of the vietnam. one of the strategies that both of the americans and the vietnamese employee is an effort and particularly central vietnam to just clear the wide swaths of areas. the idea was to clear them, then the national liberation and civilians would not be given to operate as easily as they had. they will be more easily identified and captured or killed. the other idea where juan stila to clear so no one could be in the region so anybody who was, the assumption was they were guilty essentially but that's where the image comes from. >> where do you teach at the university? >> i teaching heard about vietnam and i also teach 20th century international history particularly u.s.